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Confirmed hepatitis A case prompts public alert in Edmonton-area

December 22, 2016

EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS) has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food handler working at an Edmonton Second Cup located at 8902 149 St.

Patrons who consumed food or drink from this location on December 17 and 18 between the hours of 3 p.m. and 10 p.m., may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

“While we believe the risk to the public is low, hepatitis A is a serious infection,” says Dr. Christopher Sikora, Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services – Edmonton Zone. “As a precaution, anyone who consumed food or drink at this location is advised to monitor themselves and their family for symptoms until February 6, 2017, and take advantage of getting immunized as a way to prevent illness.”

There is no ongoing risk of infection associated with the above location. It has been cleaned, inspected and approved as safe to operate by AHS Environmental Public Health inspectors.

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. Spread through the fecal-oral route, individuals primarily contract hepatitis A through direct contact with an infected person; however, individuals can also contract the illness indirectly by ingestion of contaminated food or water. If an infected individual does not properly wash his/her hands after using the washroom, the virus can be transmitted through food and beverages prepared by the infected individual.

Illness can occur within 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus, but usually does within 28 to 30 days. Individuals can be infectious one to two weeks before symptoms occur until at least one week after the onset of illness.

Symptoms of hepatitis A may include: tiredness; poor appetite; nausea and vomiting; abdominal pain and fever; followed by dark-coloured urine, light-coloured stools, and yellowing of eyes and skin several days later. Some people, especially young children, may get hepatitis A infection without noticing any symptoms; however, they are still infectious to others.

Individuals who develop such symptoms between December 17, 2016 and February 6, 2017 are advised to immediately contact Health Link at 811.

Individuals who have had hepatitis A infection in the past or who have previously received an appropriate series of hepatitis A vaccine are not at risk of infection.

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A, but it can be prevented through immunization.

AHS Public Health staff will be offering drop-in immunization clinics for those potentially exposed at the East Edmonton Health Centre (7910 112 Ave) during the following days & times:

  • December 22: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • December 23: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • December 28: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • December 29: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • December 30: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to call Health Link, 24/7 at 811.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Kirsten Goruk
AHS Communications
780-613-8823
587-920-4561 (cell)